Category Archives: PR

Pros discuss 2013 social media efforts

Want to kick-start your social media efforts in 2013? Of course you do.

I asked 10 distinguished PR and social media pros to share their views on how it can be done.

Here are their responses:

Margo Mateas, founder, The PR Trainer

“PR pros need to remember to take time to become part of the communities they want to reach, and not just engage in ‘drive by’ social media. It only takes a second to ‘like’ someone else’s post or to leave a supportive comment. This strengthens trust and makes it more likely for them reciprocate the next time you’re promoting something.”

Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO, Pure Performance Communications

“Take the best of your communications past into 2013: your ethics, accountability, critical thinking and great communications skills. At the same time, be open to different types of engagement through social media, by experimenting and embracing new technology to build stronger relationships with stakeholders.

“You need to be 10 steps ahead to counsel senior executives about the changing media landscape, and on the same page with savvy, wired consumers to understand their preferences and to better serve their needs.”

Brad Phillips, Mr. Media Training, author, The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview

“Few public relations professionals can keep up with all of the new social networking sites that seem to pop up on a monthly basis. So as a New Year’s resolution, PR pros should try to familiarize themselves with each of the platforms—and then commit to participating in the one that is most likely to help them reach their audiences and accomplish their goals.”

Amy D. Howell, CEO, Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC

“Our firm will be measuring how the social posts are driving more traffic to client websites and how that is helping their SEO. We have completed upgrades to client websites to include integration of social platforms.”

Jeff Domansky, The PR Coach & principal, Peak Communications: 

“I’m excited about 2013. It will be the year of the ‘visual.’ Whether you’re storytelling, blogging, content marketing, doing media relations or social PR, great pics and video will drive your success. And everything you do better work on mobile, too.”

Ann Handley, chief content officer, MarketingProfs

“Focus less on what you think you ‘have’ to do to maintain a social presence. Focus more on what is meaningful for your brand.”

Stacey Acevero, social media manager, Vocus/PRWeb

“Think about social media as a book, or a timeline of the story of your business. But it’s not storytelling, it’s telling a true story well. So write social media posts that inspire conversation, share thoughts and real outcomes that resonate with your audience. Be less ‘braggy’ and involve the insights of others in your PR story.”

Joan Stewart, a.k.a. The Publicity Hound

“Recycle your content, create it in multiple formats, and share it on the social media sites. Example: Take a how-to blog post and turn it into an MP3, and then a video (record yourself offering three tips from the article), and then a slideshow for LinkedIn, and then a series of photos for a Pinterest board. Note to self: Do this in 2013 and stop creating content from scratch!”

Michael Cherenson, APR, executive VP, Success Communications Group; 2009, chair and CEO, PRSA: 

“Social media is public relations. And today’s professionals—to better serve their clients and help advance their own careers—need to invest in training and learn how to re-learn the art of communications. Every public relations professional must become an active participant, native to various social media platforms. And PR pros need to recognize Google’s algorithm is now one of our most important publics; your content needs to entice your audience and Google’s search engine.”

Shonali Burke, principal, Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.

“I see far too many PR pros functioning in a bubble. Offline, they live and work in the bubble of the agency world, and online they don’t interact with people from different industries and walks of life. One of the best things about social media is the way it can connect you with just about anyone else in the world who is using that platform. It’s amazing what we can learn from people so very different from us. So as we embark on 2013, let’s rediscover what makes social media so wonderful—the ability to converse with literally just about anyone.”

Which piece of advice will you be focusing on in 2013?

Susan Young is author of the new Kindle book “The Badass Book of Social Media and Business Communication.” She also blogs at Get In Front Communications, where a version of this story first appeared.

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“The Red-Headed Step Child” of Markets

Working with a growing college publication has really opened my eyes to a key market that is often discarded as the “red-headed stepchild.”

I currently serve manage the advertising manager of The Murray State News (you should really check it out). Since taking the position in April 2012, I have struggled to explain to advertisers why the college market is so critical to every business plan.

Here are couple of top reasons of why college students should be involved in every marketing campaign from the fortune 500 to the mom and pop’s:

  • Income: According to a re:fuel study, college students have the most dispensable income, second only to retirees. Think about it – college students receive thousands in financial aid every semester and still sponge of mom and dad. This key market has all the spending power of their parents, but without all the bills.
  • Brand loyalty: This is the first opportunity a student is able to make a decision without requiring mom or dad’s approval. Many are still open to new brands but will likely start to placing their loyalties soon after graduating. This window of opportunity gives any brand the ability to lock in a lifelong customer.
  • Low cost: College students are the cheapest market to reach: social media, online and college publications. College students spend an astronomical amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Spotify, you name it they are on it. Therefore, brands need to have a well developed, engaging social media presence on multiple platforms. Next, brands need to take it to the next level and develop a website that is user friendly and search engine optimized. College students google everything from research paper topics to how to clean a toilet; a good, clean website makes your product and company information at the finger tips of college students. Finally, brands need to utilize numerous college publications. Campuses across the country have publications that are struggling to find editorial copy and cheap advertising rates. Check out the rates and start to include college publications on your dissemination lists. All of these options involve little upfront costs.
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Is Agency Work Right for Me?

Agency life in the PR world is not for the timid or the dull—or those dependent upon eight hours of sleep a night.

Agency life is for the bold, the creative, and the smartphone-addicted.

It’s not all glamorous parties and getting paid to spend hours on Facebook (although there is some of that). Agency life is tough, but rewarding. Here’s a look at what drives our days:

Constant Creative Demand. 

Delivering in a gorilla suit, learning the secret language in “A Clockwork Orange,” and letting an antique deli scale ride shotgun could all be in a day’s work for a PR agency pro. There’s simply no “typical day.”

While others are idling away in cubicles, watching the clock tick away, we’re dreaming up catchy campaign slogans, dashing to drop off media deliveries, and crafting press releases (sometimes in the form of infographics).

We’re the ones saving ideas on our smartphones during dinner with friends on a Friday night. We’re the ones taking notes at a music festival because we’ve drawn some parallel between the crowd interaction and potential client engagement tactics. We’re the ones fighting the urge to text and drive because we drove past something that made us think.

We’re always on. Because inspiration is everywhere—and our brains never stop.

Continuous Gear Shifting and Learning.

Health care legislation on tap one day, a restaurant’s menu the next day—or maybe the next hour. Working at an agency requires a mind that can quickly shift gears as well as and a continuous urge to learn. We’re always working with new clients in new industries, so boredom doesn’t exist behind agency walls.

Fun? Yes. Easy? Hardly.

Agency life requires you to know a lot about a lot. Your clients expect you to be on your game every day. So brush up, take notes, and study hard. Do that and you’ll always get the facts right. And just remember: When in doubt, don’t double check—triple check.

Multiple Personalities. Or at Least Perspectives.

PR pros must communicate to a wide variety of audiences, from Pinterest-obsessed audiences to reporters on deadline to your dad, who wants to know how to post to Facebook. To accomplish all of these tasks effectively, we have to consider how these disparate groups will interpret each message. Yes, empathy isn’t just a quality that will make you a great friend, but it will make you a great agency staff member.

A little, A LOT of initiative

Public relations professionals get to make stuff happen. We’re never waiting around for the story to break. We’re out and about, building buzz.

That’s what you’ve got to do to stay ahead. Your clients don’t want to tell you what to do. You’re the expert, so get out there and start doing it. Pitch stories about the amazing work your clients are doing or help them do some amazing work.

This post was originally posted on The Black Sheep blog and was written by Kellie Bramlet. 

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